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   Chapter 3 No.3

Two Years in the French West Indies By Lafcadio Hearn Characters: 1942

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03


Morning: the second day. The sea is an extraordinary blue,-looks to me something like violet ink. Close by the ship, where the foam-clouds are, it is beautifully mottled,-looks like blue marble with exquisite veinings and nebulosities.... Tepid wind, and cottony white clouds,-cirri climbing up over the edge of the sea all around. The sky is still pale blue, and the horizon is full of a whitish haze.

... A nice old French gentleman from Guadeloupe presumes to say this is not blue water-he declares it greenish (verdatre). Because I cannot discern the green, he tells me I do not yet know what blue water is. Attendez un peu!...

... The sky-tone deepens as the sun ascends,-deepens deliciously. The warm wind proves soporific. I drop asleep with the blue light in my face,-the strong bright blue of the noonday sky. As I doze it seems to burn like a cold fire right through my eyelids. Waking up with a start, I fancy that everything is turning blue,-myself incl

uded. "Do you not call this the real tropical blue?" I cry to my French fellow-traveller. "Mon Dieu! non," he exclaims, as in astonishment at the question;-"this is not blue!"...What can be his idea of blue, I wonder!

Clots of sargasso float by,-light-yellow sea-weed. We are nearing the Sargasso-sea,-entering the path of the trade-winds. There is a long ground-swell, the steamer rocks and rolls, and the tumbling water always seems to me growing bluer; but my friend from Guadeloupe says that this color "which I call blue" is only darkness-only the shadow of prodigious depth.

Nothing now but blue sky and what I persist in calling blue sea. The clouds have melted away in the bright glow. There is no sign of life in the azure gulf above, nor in the abyss beneath-there are no wings or fins to be seen. Towards evening, under the slanting gold light, the color of the sea deepens into ultramarine; then the sun sinks down behind a bank of copper-colored cloud.

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